Article Courtesy of The Osceola
By Ken Jackson
Published February 24, 2017
While homeowners in Poinciana have filed suit against their homeowners
association, the Association of Poinciana Villages (APV), the HOA’s lawyers are
working to have the case dismissed.
The homeowners are suing because they believe that the HOA has failed to live up
to the tenants of its original founding agreements filed in 1985.
The APV, like AV Homes (formerly Avatar) and the Village One Association before
it, has filed a motion to dismiss the suit. The suit accuses the three entities
of breach of contract and “breach of fiduciary duty,” essentially collecting HOA
assessments when it had no standing to do so because of failing to follow the
1985 agreement. That agreement called for Avatar to turn over control of its
parcels to the association.
Slaten couldn’t speak to the other motions, but he said the basis of APV’s
motion was to ask 10th Circuit Court Judge Larry Helms to recognize that the
homeowners’ claims aren’t valid.
The homeowners named in the suit — Peter Jolly, Annette Brown and Victor
Destremps — did not live in Poinciana in 1985.
“You can’t sue for breach of contract if you weren’t a party to it,” Slaten
said. “We don’t argue that they aren’t third-party beneficiaries, but the
restrictions only apply to the developer (AV Homes). In most ways, this Avatar’s
fight, not the APV’s.”
In APV’s motion, it claims the homeowners did not give APV 20 days to seek
state-mandated mediation before filing suit just six days later on April 26,
The homeowners also claim that since the APV’s covenants were never renewed
under the Marketable Record Title Act (MRTA), the entire 1985 agreement is null
and void and cannot hold officer elections like it did Feb. 14.
Not so fast, Slaten said.
“They don’t identify any of the expired documents (in their suit),” he said.
“They aren’t referenced. MRTA does not cause some documents to expire. Some are
subject to exemptions. I know they claim we’re dragging this process out with
this request, but we’re asking to understand what documents are being
Slaten also reported that at the recent APV Master Board’s meeting, he nominated
his firm, Larsen and Associates of Orlando, to serve as the association’s debt
collector. Ultimately, it was tabled, but he said it would be a move that would
help the community.
“The association has used a couple of different agencies to collect. I would
take my direction directly from the board,” he said. “Our proposal would offer
less fees than other agencies and more protection for homeowners.”